Hello week 8! It feels like we have learned so much in a very short amount of time!
A Rap Aria?!
The students have had lots of fun creating their different pop operas. All four of the 5th grade classes have created their own story, their own lyrics and some of their own music! It has been a lot of work, but they have gotten to flex their creative muscle. This week we talked about some of the elements of traditional opera, including the aria; which is a vocal solo. In our pop opera, we only have one vocal solo, but it is written in hip hop/rap style! We can't wait for you to see it!
Performance details are forthcoming!
Ask your kiddo: What has been your favorite part about composing? What do you find frustrating about composing?
Jammin' & Singin'
We've been dancing the week away! We are almost finished learning the parts and descant to "This Land is Your Land," Which we're learning for the Oakwood Veteran's Day Assembly! The students chose this song for performance and they are excited to share it with you and the student body. We have been discussing the meaning of the lyrics and how Woody Guthrie was inspired to write it. We even completed an assignment where the students wrote their own verse! See if they'll share it with you!
We have set our date for the Winter Concert; December 18th. It will be held at Oakwood and it will feature just our choir! It will be a musically grand time for the most wonderful time of the year! Make plans to join us!
Ask your kiddo: What time do you need to be at Oakwood for the Veteran's Day Assembly?
Week 7 had a few surprises for us! It was a short week, since there was no school on Monday, October 9th. The 5th grade general music students worked on developing a story for our upcoming Opera project! More details on that below. The 6th grade choir students worked on honing their skills using rhythm correctly while they sing. Read all about it below!
The fifth grade classes began developing a story for our new project: a Pop Opera! The students will develop a setting, plot and theme this week. They will get to work cooperatively in small groups to discuss and create their own stories. At the end of the week, they shared ideas with the whole class, and the class got to decide which idea would be produced into a full Pop Opera! This project will take between three to four weeks, which is a lot of work. The students will compose music, write lyrics, develop and create a set design, costumes and stage blocking! Don't worry, parents, friends and family will all be invited to the final performance. The students and I are so excited to see this project happen!
Ask your kiddo: What story did your class decide on for the pop opera? What is your group writing; music or a script? Which song are you writing?
The choir has been running into some issues while counting rhythms, so we took some time this week to review the basic rhythm concepts. We talked about the patterns found in the note symbols and how that relates to the actual note values. We've been adding note values so much, we're starting to confuse our half notes with our math problems! It has been fun taking some time to brush up and remind ourselves of the way these rhythms work. Our choir music has really benefited! Our singing has been much cleaner and precise this week! The big news this week has been... our risers are in! CSISD has provided brand new risers for Oakwood Choir, so our students can look great while they perform. We are very grateful to the CSISD board and administration for their generosity!
Ask your kiddo: Are you ready for the concert? Do you have the clothes you need to wear?
Week Six was a little choppy for us! Grade reports were released this week and there was some work still to get done! Our students did very well overall. They are gaining skills and abilities almost quicker than I can report! The general music classes worked on some extra credit opportunities and the ukulele! The choir classes worked on some extra credit opportunities and how to correctly evaluate choral music. Keep reading to know details of each!
The students have been preparing for a while now to play the ukulele! We've done research on Hawaii, looked up where the ukulele came from, listened to examples of great ukulele players; the whole deal! They were very excited to begin their unit on ukulele! As we began, I assessed that the students had already completed this unit in fourth grade. I was a bummed as they were to let them know that we will begin a new unit next week. Enjoy the video at the end of this entry of some students playing the ukulele in three different parts!
The students and I are excited to begin a two-week project where they write their own pop musical! They'll be composing music, writing lyrics, deciding on setting, plot and characters, even set design and costumes! The whole unit should be great fun while we learn about performance! Hopefully many of our students will want to participate in other theater and stage events in middle school and high school!
Ask your kiddo: How did you like the ukulele? Do you get nervous talking in front of people?
After our focus on self-evaluation last week, I assessed that a large number of the choir students do not accurately assess their progress. Most times, the reaction to their performance is something similar to "We sounded awful," or "It was perfect!" Of course, neither is usually true. The key to quick progress and lots of growth is knowing where the problem is and knowing what to do to fix it. I've been giving students lots of tools to improve their singing, but I realized they aren't sure when to use them! So this week, we listened to many examples of singing that varied in level of mastery. By watching other ensembles, the students are beginning to understand some common issues and how they effect a performance. They have renewed energy while they are working and preparing for their concert on October 23rd at AMCHS. Next week, we'll be evaluating ourselves and how well we perform!
When the students perform at the Veteran's Day Ceremony on November 10th, they will sing in two parts! Some students, who wish to, will audition to be a part of our descant group. After auditions, I'll choose a few students to sing the descant at the ceremony. A practice video for the audition is below, if your kiddo would like to practice on their own!
Ask your kiddo: What are some common mistakes you make in choir class? What do you do well in choir class?